FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 31, 2019
Multiple School Safety and Security Information Updates Added to PCCD Website: Free Threat Assessment Team Materials, NASRO Training Equivalent Standards, and Third-Party Security Guard Vendor Application Process
Harrisburg, PA. — The School Safety and Security Committee (Committee) within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) recently posted a series of informational updates on the School Safety and Security Committee webpage, meeting the statutory requirements of Act 18 of 2019 and Act 67 of 2019.
Specifically, Act 18 required the Committee to develop and adopt free guidelines and training materials for schools to use in the establishment of threat assessment teams. Act 67 required PCCD to consider training equivalents to the training provided by the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) and establish criteria and an application process for third-party vendors providing security guard services in schools. All materials and policies were adopted during the Commission's and Committee's December 2019 meetings.
Threat Assessment Teams. Act 18 of 2019 amended the Public School Code of 1949 by adding Article XIII-E, Threat Assessment, which requires each school entity in Pennsylvania to establish a threat assessment team. The Act also tasked the Committee to research, develop and provide free threat assessment guidelines, training and informational materials, as well as model procedures and guidelines for school entities. The following are available on PCCD's School Safety webpage:
- Model K-12 Threat Assessment Procedures and Guidelines, to support school entities in developing their own policies and threat assessment teams in compliance with the expectations delineated in Act 18.
- Guidance on Communication and Information on Confidentiality, in a Q&A format, to assist schools in ensuring open communication with other school-based intervention teams (particularly Student Assistance Program (SAP) and Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams) and maintaining appropriate confidentiality in accordance with state and federal law.
- Information for School Staff, Parents, and Guardians, in a PowerPoint format, that school entities can adapt to include local connections and utilize as part of an interactive presentation.
- Students Preventing Violence in School, in a PowerPoint format, provides information tailored to students that students can access directly, teachers can use in the classroom, or school entities can otherwise adapt and incorporate into an interactive or multimedia presentation.
Threat Assessment Team training opportunities, which will be funded through a Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) grant through the US Department of Justice, will be made available starting the 2020-21 school year. More information on the training will be posted on the Threat Assessment webpage in 2020.
NASRO Training Equivalent Program. According to Article XIII-C (relating to school security) of the Public School Code, all school police officers, school resource officers, and school security guards are required to successfully complete the Basic School Resource Officer Course offered by NASRO or an equivalent course of instruction approved by PCCD. School security personnel intending to work in a school setting are required to receive this instruction either prior to employment, or, for current employees, within a certain time frame allowed by law.
To help determine what constitutes an 'equivalent training', PCCD adopted on December 11, 2019 a set of School Security Personnel Training Standards that will be used by PCCD staff to evaluate and approve vendors offering equivalent course of instruction to the NASRO Basic School Resource Officer Course. Vendors that are seeking to be considered as an 'equivalent training' should refer to the standards, and then email RA-CD-SSSC@pa.gov or contact Carol Kuntz at 717-265-8450.
Third-Party Vendors Providing Security Guard Services. Act 67 also required the Commission to establish criteria for certifying approved third-party vendors to provide school security guard services to school entities and nonpublic schools throughout Pennsylvania. On December 11, PCCD adopted the criteria, which can be found on the website at https://www.pccd.pa.gov/schoolsafety/Pages/Vendor-Registration.aspx. Vendors that are seeking to be considered should fill out the application and email it to RA-CD-SSSCREGISTER@pa.gov.
More information about the Committee, including information on school safety assessment criteria, an online registry of individuals qualified to perform those assessments, and a Model Trauma-Informed Approach Plan can be found on PCCD's School Safety and Security webpage.
PCCD's mission is to enhance the quality, coordination and planning within the criminal and juvenile justice systems, to facilitate the delivery of services to victims of crime, and to increase the safety of our communities.